No need to worry about Martial Law -- Palace

MANILA, August 11 -- Malacanang on Thursday reiterated that there is nothing to worry about martial law that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has previously mentioned while defending his anti-illegal drug campaign against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

”There is no need to worry about martial. As PRRD has said: ‘I want to make specific changes without having to do with martial law,” presidential spokesman Secretary Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte
Abella explained that based on the results of the anti-illegal drug campaign and the previous statement of President, there is no need to impose martial law.

He also clarified the President is not circumventing the judicial process while fulfilling his election campaign promise to end illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

”It’s not a circumvention so much as shortening the process. He is simply facilitating the whole process by encouraging those who have already been considered as persons of interest, to be able to come up and explain themselves,” Abella explained.

”We really live in extraordinary times that demands an extraordinary action. It’s extraordinary, 600,000 people surrendering – isn’t that amazing? So, this is where he’s coming from. Nobody really knew the depth and width and breadth of the drug situation, and now he’s trying to facilitate the whole thing,” he further explained.

Last Wednesday, Presidential Communications Operations (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said President Duterte was just asking ‘rhetorical question’ when he asked Sereno: “Woud you rather I declare martial law?”

Duterte was reacting to Sereno’s statement saying she will advise the judges included in the drug list of the President not to surrender to authorities unless an arrest warrant is issued by the court.

Abella, meanwhile, said the President has never ordered extra-judicial killings that marred the intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

”Let me say first and foremost, the President has never ordered extra judicial killings. But he is deeply concerned about the deaths, he deeply concerned about what’s happening,” Abella said.

Abella said the President has ordered to investigate the extra-judicial killings.

According to the report, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has already arrested over 3,000 and killed almost 500 drug pushers in connection with its aggressive drive to eradicate drug problems in the country. (by Jelly F. Musico, PNA)